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Eight Act Six Scholars Earn Scholarships to Attend Whitworth University

March 9, 2018
Whitworth University is celebrating along with the Spokane and Tacoma-Seattle communities. Act Six announced today that eight emerging urban and community leaders from the Spokane and Tacoma-Seattle areas will receive scholarships to Whitworth University. Whitworth will provide full-tuition, full-need scholarships over four years.

Through a rigorous three-month selection process, these diverse student leaders were selected for their commitment to serving on campus and at home, passion for learning, eagerness to foster intercultural relationships, and willingness to step out of their comfort zones.

Following is a list of this year’s Act Six recipients:

Malachi Areta, Joel E Ferris High School
Josh Nguyen, Shadle Park High School
NhatMinh Nguyen, John R Rogers High School
Willow Zimmerman, Community School
Chris Clay, Franklin Pierce High School
Alaethia Esparza, Bellevue Senior High School
Daniel Rodriguez, Federal Way Senior High School
Kendy Urzua Valadez, Lincoln High School

The media and public are invited to attend the community celebrations to recognize the newest Act Six scholars:

Spokane: March 14, 6 p.m., Gonzaga Prepatory Academy, 1224 East Euclid Ave., Spokane
Tacoma-Seattle: March 13, 6 p.m., Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St., Tacoma

About Act Six

Act Six seeks to develop urban leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, more than 700 ethnically diverse and mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholarship recipients from Tacoma, Seattle, Yakima and Spokane, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Chicago; and Indianapolis have enrolled at 13 private colleges and universities.

Act Six develops leaders through a simple, but powerful, four-step strategy:
Recruit and select diverse multicultural cadres of the Northwest’s most promising emerging urban and community leaders.
Train and prepare these groups of students in the year prior to college, equipping them to support each other, to succeed academically, and to grow as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation.
Send and fund the teams together to select private, liberal arts colleges in the Northwest on four-year scholarships.
Support and inspire by providing strong campus support and ongoing leadership development to nurture these young people as they find their vocations and grow into the next generation of community leaders.

Act Six alumni continue their leadership once they step foot into their communities. Eighty percent of Act Six scholars earn their bachelor’s degrees within six years, more than double the rate for low-income, first-generation students nationwide. Nearly two-thirds of the program’s graduates are working or serving back in their home communities. Among alumni who have been out of college for three or more years, 31 percent have earned a postgraduate degree or credential.

Following next week’s celebrations, scholars begin an intensive, six-month training program that involves weekly meetings with Act Six staff, retreats and campus visits. Learn more about Act Six online at

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Francis Chau, Act Six Spokane program supervisor, YMCA of the Inland Northwest
(509) 720-5613 or

Tim Herron, Act Six founder and president, Degrees of Change
(253) 444-0010 or

Ayaka Dohi, assistant director of admissions, Whitworth University
(509) 777-4626 or